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Houlahan Tours Reading Institutions Serving the Community

by Office of Representative Chrissy Houlahan

Houlahan Tours Reading Institutions Serving the Community
Houlahan meets with RHA staff to see plans for the Family Services Complex.

Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) recently wrapped up a community tour in Reading which culminated with her 70th public town hall since joining Congress in 2019.

“It’s always wonderful hearing from so many community members whether it’s at their workplace or at a town hall, and I was lucky enough to do both in Reading this week,” said Houlahan. “I appreciate all the community members I spoke to in Reading and a special expression of thanks to my guest panelists and President Susan Looney for joining me at my 70th town hall at Reading Area Community College. The work our community is doing is so important and I look forward to continuing these conversations.”

The first visit was to Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation (BLWDC) in Reading, formerly known as Tec Centro Berks. Houlahan met with students and faculty to discuss the $1.9 million grant they received from appropriations secured by Rep. Houlahan’s FY2023 Community Project Funding request. The grant is being used to purchase equipment to establish skills training programs in high demand occupations such as culinary arts, dental work, commercial plumbing, and more.

Houlahan meets with students and faculty at BLWDC.

“We were honored to host Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan at Tec Centro Berks. She has been an early supporter of our efforts to transform lives through workforce education and training,” said Violet Emory, Executive Director of Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation. Congresswoman Houlahan has championed a federal grant to come to Tec Centro Berks. These funds will provide for new training areas to serve Reading’s most marginalized residents.”

The next stop was a visit to Reading Housing Authority (RHA), another one of the fourteen appropriation requests secured by Rep. Houlahan via a Community Project Funding grant. RHA will utilize the $2 million grant to create a Family Services Complex to serve as a hub for programs to address economic self-sufficiency, food insecurity, and access to health and human services.

Houlahan with students and faculty in the early childhood education program.

“It was our great pleasure to host Representative Houlahan in her visit to Reading,” said Stacey Keppen, Executive Director of Reading Housing Authority. “As we stood in our decommissioned boiler house – the future home of the Family Services Complex – we could almost feel the energy of the children of Oakbrook Homes who will learn and thrive while their parents go to school and to work. The literal foundation for this important project is made possible because of the support of the Congresswoman, and as we spoke on the connections between early childhood education and family self-sufficiency, it was evident that this project was very personal for her as a former educator. We look forward to future visits with the Representative as this project unfolds.”  

Her last stop of the day was at Reading Area Community College (RACC) to the Weitz Healthcare Pavilion which recently expanded its programming for students pursuing careers in nursing and healthcare services. Houlahan also had the opportunity to speak with students in the early childhood education program about the challenges they face with funding for higher education and their desire to teach the next generation of students.

Houlahan with special guests during the Q&A portion of the town hall.

At RACC, Houlahan hosted her 70th town hall which was focused on community resources available to constituents. She was joined by special guests from Berks County including RACC President Susan D. Looney, who moderated the event.

“We were honored to host Representative Houlahan on the Reading Area Community College campus for the Community Resources and Collaboration Town Hall,” said Susan D. Looney, President of Reading Area Community College. “Additionally, we greatly appreciated the opportunity to showcase our newest project, The Weitz Healthcare Pavilion, as well as the opportunity for the representative to speak with students from our Early Childhood Education program.”

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She is the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award which “recognizes members who demonstrate the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward” and the Congressional Management Foundation’s 2022 Democracy Award for best Constituent Services in Congress.